Australian Crop Report: June edition
Planting conditions across Victoria at the beginning of the 2020–21 cropping season have been favourable. There was above average rainfall in many cropping regions in Victoria during autumn. This rainfall led to around average upper layer soil moisture in most Victorian cropping regions, which supported planting and crop establishment. Lower layer soil moisture levels in May were above average in most cropping regions.
Winter rainfall is likely to be average in most cropping regions in Victoria, according to the latest three-month rainfall outlook (June to August) issued by the Bureau of Meteorology on 4 June 2020. There is likely to be below average rainfall in some southern cropping regions.
June rainfall is expected to be below average, however above average rainfall is expected in July. It is likely that average winter rainfall and above average levels of lower layer soil moisture at the beginning of June will support above average yields in most regions, assuming average rainfall in spring. In the event of lower than average spring rainfall, it is likely there will be sufficient levels of lower layer soil moisture at the end of winter to carry crops through to harvest.
Area planted to winter crops in Victoria is forecast to increase by 9% in 2020–21 to 3.4 million hectares. With a favourable opening to the winter crop season, it is expected there will be more area planted to winter crops in marginal cropping regions than last year. Winter crop production in Victoria in 2020–21 is forecast to be similar to last year at around 7.4 million tonnes, which is 12% above the 10-year average to 2019–20. Production is expected to be supported by the increase in planted area. However, state wide average yields are expected to be lower than last year. This is partly because yields are expected to fall slightly in regions that had very high yields last year. Additionally, the increase in area planted in marginal lower yielding regions will lower state wide average yields.
Area planted to wheat in Victoria is forecast to increase by 9% in 2020–21 to 1.6 million hectares. This is 4% above the 10-year average to 2019–20. Wheat production is forecast to increase by 6% in 2020–21 to 3.8 million tonnes, which reflects an increase in planted area and an expected fall in the average yield.
Area planted to barley in Victoria is forecast to increase by 6% in 2020–21 to 870,000 hectares. This is close to the 10-year average to 2019–20. Barley production is forecast to decrease by 11% in 2020–21 to 2.2 million tonnes, largely the result of an expected fall in the average yield.
Area planted to canola in Victoria is forecast to increase by 17% in 2020–21 to 450,000 hectares. This is 6% above the 10-year average to 2019–20. Canola production is forecast to increase by 10% in 2020–21 to around 712,000 tonnes with the forecast increase in planted area being partially offset by an expected fall in the average yield.
Note: Yields are based on area planted. Area based on planted crop that is harvested, fed off or failed. Percent change are relative to last year.